File under monkey/rodent terror
Now, Pharyngula points out a new video game technology that allows you to install your favorite rodent as the Boss. The game tracks your pet's movements as it chases a piece of bait (undoubtedly a tiny, cheese-flavored human effigy), and reproduces Mr. Squeak in the game as a giant monster chasing your helpless avatar. Of course, the developers have all sorts of heartfelt justifications:
"We want to enable pets to play games in a way very similar to the way human players' play," said RASTER's Vladimir Todoroviæ, a collaborator working on the Metazoa Ludens project. "To play a computer game with your hamster would definitely make us think about where we have come with digital tradition now."Still, I think it's painfully obvious: We're preparing for the coming monkey-rat invasion.
It may sound like a really complicated version of Ms. Pac-Man, but the goal of the game makers is ambitious: to merge human spaces with pet spaces through pervasive computing interfaces. By creating high-tech, pets-versus-owners computer games, researchers hope to gain new insights into animal behavior, and perhaps develop new technologies that could close the gap between the species.